RV Camping in Zion National Park
Zion National Park is located 43 miles northeast of St. George, Utah. From I-15, take Utah Route 9 or exit further north on Route 17 to Route 9 to enter the park via the south entrance. Entering from the east, take U.S. 89 to Utah Route 9. The 229-square-mile park is open year-round. The elevation ranges from 3,666 feet to 8,726 feet.Scenic DriveZion is a part of the Grand Circle of National Parks.
Summer days here are hot in the canyon, springtime weather can be wet and winters are mostly on the mild side. We camped at Zion in late spring and in midsummer. The springtime wildflowers are just gorgeous, and the abundant park wildlife ventures out more often during the spring. The canyon does, indeed, change its personality with the seasons.
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Park Attractions and Activities
Sightseeing is, of course, Zion’s main attraction for visitors. There are three unforgettable scenic drives, with Zion Canyon Scenic Drive being the most famous. The drive begins near the Visitors Center and runs through the narrow and deep canyon, ending at the Temple of Sinawava. The massive Great White Throne welcomes your entrance to the Canyon.
Zion Tunnel Zion-Mt Carmel Highway (Utah Route 9) begins at the park’s eastern portal and joins with Zion Canyon Scenic Drive. We thoroughly enjoyed this particular drive, especially its abrupt change of landscape along the way. The road passes through two tunnels, with Long Tunnel (1.1-mile) being very impressive as it bores through solid rock. Larger vehicles must wait to be escorted through by park rangers.
Kolob Canyon Road is a five-mile drive that leads up to a completely separate area of Zion. This beautiful byway can only be accessed from I-15 (exit 40). The road runs along Taylor Creek in the northwest corner of the park. The spectacular red sandstone canyons and tall vertical cliffs are well worth the inconvenience in getting there.
Hiking and Walks
There are hiking and walking trails in Zion National Park to suit every taste. Riverside Walk is a favorite as an easy walk on pavement along the Virgin River. Weeping Rock Trail is rated as easy and is only a half-mile walk . The Narrows Trail (12.5 miles) is the most popular and the most strenuous, with most of the hike spent wading in the Virgin River. Two very fascinating hikes begin in Kolob Canyon. One leads out to beautiful Kolob Arch (the world’s largest natural span!). Also, there are some outstanding Extended Backcountry Trails with overnight campsites along the way.
Other Activities in Zion
Guided horseback rides are available for visitors through the park lodge. Zion provides some great bike trails that curve and twist through the park. Whatever you prefer doing, Zion National Park will not disappoint!
Park Campgrounds and Facilities
There are two nice campgrounds in Zion. Both are on a first-come, first-served basis. South Campground (139 sites) has 50 pull-thrus, restrooms and a dump station. Watchman Campground (229 sites) has restrooms, dump station and back-ins for RVs. These are good basic campgrounds with no showers and no hookups.
Area Private RV Parks and Campgrounds
A number of full-service private RV parks are located around Zion National Park. Just outside the south entrance, in Springdale, Utah, the Zion Canyon Campground offers full hookups, river sites, showers and more. At the east gate on Route 9, Mukuntuweep RV Park and Campground provides full hookups, showers, laundry, cabins, restaurant and gas station. Again, at the south entrance, in Virgin, Utah, the Zion River Resort Park has similar amenities – plus at-site modem connections. These are but a few of the many good private campgrounds available in the Zion area.
Area Attractions and Activities
There is much to do and lots to see in southwest Utah. Utah Route 9, which runs from I-15 north of St. George to U.S. Highway 89 at Mt Carmel Junction, is a scenic byway. There are two large sections of Dixie National Forest close to Zion. Quail Creek State Park (23 sites) is three miles east of I-15 on Route 9.
This lovely park offers boating, fishing, swimming and much more. Snow Canyon State Park (35 sites) is located about 35 miles northwest of St. George, off Utah Route 18. Snow Canyon has electrical hookups, showers and a dump station. Hiking and biking are popular activities in and about its beautiful red Navajo sandstone formations.
There is much more that I could say about Zion National Park. Put simply, the park is a real wonder to behold! It is a wonderful place to be and a very good place to camp. In Zion, nature displays some of her best.